We’re deep in the heart of the holiday season. Thanksgiving dinner is in the rearview mirror, but you’ve likely got some other food-related holiday events coming up with friends, family, and even coworkers.
My goal is always to help my clients feel better and enjoy their lives. Yes, the holidays are full of sugar bombs and dietary pitfalls. But a prediabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun of this season.
I want you to be able to manage your blood sugar balance AND still enjoy the holidays — totally possible by the way. And here are my best tips to help you do it:
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #1: Eat Enough
That may sound like a strange thing to say during the holidays when the tendency is to overeat. But I know a lot of you might try to save up your calories so you can splurge at an event, or undereat afterwards because you feel guilty.
Diet culture has made an impression on all of us. So there is an inherent guilt involved in eating richer foods or eating more than usual. So if you need permission, I’m giving it to you. It’s okay to eat during the holidays. Please don't starve yourself after splurging at a holiday gathering (or before in anticipation).
Restricting food may seem like a good plan. But the hunger will likely backfire and make you binge. Now, I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want despite the health consequences. Be smart about it. When you enjoy a treat or a richer meal, do what you can to minimize the negative effects. Eat nutrient-dense food and keep your usual eating schedule as much as possible.
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #2: Set Your Intentions
Know your limits and document your intentions. Research shows that writing out your intentions (not typing) can help you stick with them.
So think through the event in advance. Decide if you’re going to splurge on something before you go. If it’s appropriate for the occasion, consider bringing something that’s blood sugar-friendly that you’ll enjoy eating. Try asking yourself these questions:
What do I want to partake in and what do I want to avoid?
What's an acceptable amount for me?
What can I do before and after to make the event go better?
Take your answers and go from there. You’re an adult. You can choose to eat whatever you want. But why not set an intention to be mindful about your eating and do what you can to keep the negative side effects to a minimum?
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #3: Be Prepared
Showing up at the holiday party starving and with no idea what you’re going to eat is probably not going to work out well. But with a little planning, you can enjoy your holiday favorites and still prioritize your health.
✔ Consider eating a healthy snack before the party or event. It’s hard to make good food choices when you’re starving.
✔ Offer to bring a dish that you can eat (and enjoy).
✔ Decide which of the more decadent foods are most important to you.
✔ Consider taking smaller portions. Usually after three or four bites of something, the joy of eating it starts to diminish.
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #4: Stay Active
The holiday season is BUSY for most of us. And inevitably, some things are going to fall through the cracks. But I encourage you to keep exercise toward the top of your priority list.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym. But consider some daily movement that you can fit into your schedule. The research is clear. According to a clinical study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, including 150 minutes of exercise each week decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #5: Get Enough Sleep
I know… you’re busy. It’s hard to get enough sleep these days, especially when you’ve got extra obligations. But inadequate sleep sets off a hormone cascade in your body that can cause carbohydrate cravings, increase insulin resistance, and bump up your hunger.
Consider holding yourself to a bedtime and improving your sleep hygiene. I share some of my best tips on sleep and prediabetes in this article.
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #6: Eat Some Fun Food
Even when you’re working hard to balance your blood sugar, there are loads of fun foods you can still have. No, you may not be able to eat your grandma’s traditional sugar-loaded holiday desserts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find other things — or even reasonable substitutes.
A google search will yield more blood sugar-friendly recipe blogs and websites than you could ever get through. Diet Doctor is one of my personal favorites. You’ll find low carb recipes for just about everything you can imagine there.
Prediabetes Holiday Tip #7: Focus on What’s Important
Yes, food is important. And having your holiday favorites is definitely part of the fun of the season. And while it may feel like November and December revolve almost entirely around food, it is possible to find joy in other aspects of the holiday season:
💗 Time with family and friends
💗 Seasonal music and decorations
💗 Events like seasonal religious services or programs
💗 Giving and receiving of gifts
The holidays present some challenges if you’re working on reversing your prediabetes. But it is possible to enjoy your season and still stick with your health goals. And I’m here for you. My goal is to help my clients feel their best and balance their blood sugar while living lives they enjoy.
Did you know that a steam sauna can improve blood sugar?
Yes, that’s right! And there are many other ways to improve blood sugar. Addressing prediabetes doesn’t have to be hard. Ready to improve your blood sugar without changing your diet? Sign up for my FREE mini course, 10 Ways to Improve Blood Sugar Without Changing Your Diet. It’s a free email course, and it’s a fast and easy way to learn 10 impactful tips to begin balancing your blood sugar TODAY! Learn more